Obama To Make Case For Traditional Liberal Economic Agenda

While his inaugural address was focused on social issues, Obama will use State of the Union to outline economic plans.

Drew Angerer/Abaca Press / MCT

WASHINGTON — Where his inaugural address was a platform to outline the second term social policies he would pursue, President Barack Obama Tuesday will make the case to the nation for a series of economic policies deeply rooted in liberal orthodoxy, according to sources familiar with the speech.

According to Democratic sources, the speech will lean heavily on economy, outlining proposals for job creation, propping up the middle class, dealing with the looming fiscal crises including the sequester and other issues. Virtually all of those plans will also be based heavily on core Democratic Party principles and policies.

In that, Tuesday night’s speech will track closely with Obama’s inaugural address, which was largely based on bread and butter liberal issues.

According to a Democratic source briefed by the White House, aides acknowledged that the heavy focus on women’s equality, climate, marriage equality and social justice themes and that the economic ideas he outlined didn’t get much coverage. According to this source, the White House’s focus on the economy — while not monolithic since immigration reform, gun control and LGBT rights will obviously get mentions — is intended to balance the January speech.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has taken pains to reject the notion that Obama’s Inaugural was light on discussing the economy, saying the economy and jobs has always been Obama’s top priority and will be in his speech tonight.

“I don’t have the numbers for you, but it is simply a fact that while the Inaugural Address contained within it very powerful lines from the President about issues like comprehensive immigration reform or the need to address climate change or gun violence, all of those issues combined got less space, if you will, in the Inaugural Address than the economy and jobs,” he told reporters Monday. “And that reflects the overall approach that the President takes.”

“So there’s no pivot here. The President’s principal preoccupation since he ran for this office, beginning in 2007, has been what we need to do to make our economy work for the middle class, to help expand the middle class; to give average Americans the opportunities they need to help this economy grow and to help it be as strong and dominant in the 21st century as it was in the 20th. You’ll hear that again in the State of the Union Address.”

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